Category: Design

Islands Digitally Composed From Images of Abandoned Sites by Fabio Araujo 

Brazilian designer Fabio Araujo digitally composes images of abandoned sites to create undesirable islands, small patches of earth ripped up from long neglected corners of civilization. The series, Abandoned Places, exists both as image and video as Araujo animates discrete elements of the works to play in a loop. These areas serve as the only “living” aspect in-frame, focusing on a single deer or bubbling creek that has managed to survive amidst crumbling architecture and rusted water towers.

Araujo explores a similar island concept in another work titled Favela, a much larger creation that seems to float through the sky rather than a flat matte background. You can see more of Araujo’s digitally composed pieces on his Behance and Instagram.

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MIT Developed a Fabric That Can Fold Into Origami-Like Shapes When Inflated 

MIT Media Lab's Tangible Media Group has created a system to fold materials into various origami shapes when inflated, turning specifically designed paper, plastic, and fabric into representations of swans, helixes, or other 3D figures with minimal human interaction. The project, aeroMorph, utilizes special software to program the geometry needed for each three-dimensional shape and exports the information as digital fabrication files. After this, specific markings are heat-sealed onto the provided material on a large robotic platform, allowing it to bend at specific joints when filled with a steady stream of air.

The creators believe aeroMorph could be applied to future wearables, toys, robotics, and automated packaging. You can see the results from several of the project’s self-folding experiments in the video below. (via Laughing Squid)

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A Bamboo Recreation Facility Inspired by the Lotus Flower Blooms in Thailand 

The Panyaden International School is an education center located in Chiang Mai, Thailand built entirely from natural materials. Architecture firm Chiangmai Life recently designed a covered recreation hall for the school’s sports teams, creating a 2,500-square-foot bamboo terrace that echos the Buddhist values found in the school’s curriculum. The lotus-inspired structure was built without any steel reinforcements or other manmade materials, and stays naturally cool in the city’s humid climate while also withstanding high-speed winds and earthquakes. (via Inhabitat)

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Floating Cloud: An Electromagnetic Cloud That Hovers on Your Desktop by Richard Clarkson 

Floating Cloud is the latest “weightless” creation from NYC-based artist and designer Richard Clarkson who has long been fascinated by the shape and form of clouds that he translates into audiovisual devices. The Floating Cloud is held in place by a system of rare earth magnets, electromagnets, and a location sensor that keep the cloud hovering at all times while allowing for full rotation and slight upward and downward motion when touched. It’s also embedded with a number of sound reactive LEDs that flash in response to music or ambient sounds. Learn more here.

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Tiffanie Turner’s Debut Book Shows How To Create Her Masterful Paper Flowers 

All images courtesy of Tiffanie Turner and Watson-Guptill, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photography copyright Aya Brackett.

We’ve long admired the breathtaking botanical artwork crafted by San Francisco-based artist Tiffanie Turner (previously here and here). Combining her architectural training with a love of the natural world, Turner has pioneered a seemingly infinite number of techniques to craft incredibly lifelike flowers from everyday materials. And, after years of refining her unique art form, her debut book The Fine Art of Paper Flowers will be published on August 22nd.

In her comprehensive photo-filled 254-page book, Turner starts from the ground up, detailing materials and basic techniques, doling out dye recipes, and offering species-specific construction guides for leaves, stems, and buds. Finished projects range from delicate cosmos to peonies the size of a fully-grown person, and include options for personal accessories like everlasting boutonnieres and flower crowns that channel Frida Kahlo. Turner generously shares every aspect of her years of acquired knowledge in her friendly voice, with step-by-step instructions that read somewhere between a cookbook and a novel. The Fine Art of Paper Flowers is currently available for pre-order in The Colossal Shop.

And, if you live in the Chicago area or would like to visit our fair city, we are thrilled to be hosting Tiffanie for two workshops and a book signing on September 26th. Tiffanie will be teaching how to make Cosmos or Double Bomb Peonies (or both!) in an intimate workshop setting held at Colossal’s HQ. There will also be a free book signing, where copies of Tiffanie’s book will be available for purchase. Tickets and info for the workshops can be found in The Colossal Shop.

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A Gigantic Buddha Statue Emerges from the Top of a Hill in Japan 

Unless otherwise noted, all photographs by Shigeo Ogawa.

Normally a cemetery wouldn’t be on our list of recommended sites to see, but the Makomanai Cemetery is one of the most awe-inspiring places we’ve ever been. Located in the outskirts of Sapporo, a large stone Buddha occupies the sprawling landscape. All 1,500 tons of it has sat alone there for 15 years. But when the cemetery decided they wanted to do something to increase visitor’s appreciations for the Buddha, they enlisted architect Tadao Ando, who had a grand and bold idea: hide the statue.

Photo by Hiroo Namiki.

“Our idea was to cover the Buddha below the head with a hill of lavender plants,” said Ando. Indeed, as you approach “Hill of Buddha” the subject is largely concealed by a hill planted with 150,000 lavenders. Only the top of the statue’s head pokes out from the rotunda, creating a visual connection between the lavender plants and the ringlets of hair on the Buddha statue’s head.

Upon entering, visitors are forced to turn left or right and walk around a rectangular lake of water before entering the 131-ft (40-meter) long approach tunnel. The journey is a constant reminder of the weather, the breeze and the light, and is works in tandem to heighten anticipation of the statue, which is only visible once you reach the end of the tunnel.

Any time of the year, visitors will have a different experience. The 150,000 lavenders “turn fresh green in spring, pale purple in summer and silky white with snow in winter.” It really is a miraculous work of environmental art. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

Photo by Hiroo Namiki.

Photo by Hiroo Namiki.

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